Yorkshire’s Maisie Adam Talks Comedy, Touring And Her Gran’s Favourite Pub


As Pannal-born Maisie Adam extends her debut tour with another 27 dates, including some Yorkshire shows, Bethan Andrews sits down with her to talk all things comedy, her home county, and success

It’s fair to say that Maisie Adam has enjoyed something of a meteoric rise to comedic fame in the last couple of years, but I was still surprised to hear that she only started out on the amateur comedy circuit a mere five years ago. What I was unsurprised to find is that she’s as humble, warm and funny as one would expect an internationally acclaimed Yorkshire born and bred comedian to be, and we giggled our way through our Monday morning chat. 

So, where exactly did it all start and how did Maisie come to be performing her sell-out debut tour after only being on the stage for the first time in little old Ilkley five years ago? “It’s mad really, because it kind of only feels like a week,” she smiles. “I did my first gig out of nowhere in Ilkley, and it wasn’t actually a part of a comedy night, it was part of the Ilkley Literature Festival. As soon as I came off stage, though, I was like, that’s what I want to be doing. I started doing every open mic thing I could find and won a newcomer competition that propelled everything forward much quicker, as I got signed off the back of it.” 

Press Image Wip Portrait Credit Mattcrockett
Photo by Matt Crockett

From there, Maisie tells me how everything that happened was simply unbelievable to her. She beams through talking about getting her first Mock the Week slot, and more TV appearances, followed by getting tour support for comedians that she grew up watching. “The last three years have been many moments of just going, what, I get to do this now?! I get to go on a TV show that I grew up running home from school to watch episodes of. So, it’s been a bit mad, and then here we are now with me extending my proper big tour with an extra 27 dates. It’s an oh my god, this is mad moment!” 

With such a quick rise, I wonder when Maisie felt that comedy was something she could make a career out of. “I always had a really mad interest in comedy and anytime a comedian was touring to Leeds, I was straight there, but that’s very different to thinking you yourself can do it,” she says. “I went to uni and did drama, but I wasn’t really getting any work and still craved being on stage. I loved playing the funny roles, and I loved getting the immediate feedback you get when you’re the funny character. So, I just thought, let’s do it!” 

Clearly, Maisie is full of determination and drive, and her persistence with seeking out amateur nights and open mics in London every week while trying to make it showcases this. One thing that she feels is perhaps missing from the Yorkshire comedy circuit is the opportunity to practice and hone your talent as an upcoming comedian. “There’s loads of great comedy gigs in and around Yorkshire but they are paid, professional, good stand-up nights and there isn’t, or wasn’t, anywhere to cut your teeth, practice and just give it a go. If you want to find bad comedy, there’s loads in London!” she laughs. “So I spent a lot of time on the Megabus up and down to London. It feels a weird thing to complain that there aren’t any bad comedy nights, but they are the kind of nights that nurture new talent.”

It’s perhaps one of the most exciting elements of the Yorkshire leg of the tour for Maisie, that she can inspire and showcase to people that fresh talent in the county can be nurtured and become a success story. “I’m excited to do some of the smaller cool places like Pocklington,” she says. “I like doing the Leeds and the Manchesters and the big ones, but as a comedy fan growing up, I was always having to traipse over to the big cities. The small places, the B-team towns, should be getting the tour shows, too. Who could be an open mic comedian living in Pocklington and this is where they see comedy coming to them, instead of them having to find it.” 

“Gosh, where do I begin?” she muses when asked about her highlights. “I mean, I love seeing the world so any of the times I’ve managed to travel with comedy have been amazing. I remember the first abroad gig was to Amsterdam and they were paying for my flights and hotel and I felt like a member of the blooming Royal Family!” she laughs. “Now, I’m gearing up to go to Melbourne in the new year and I’ve just got back from Finland. I feel like the luckiest kid in the world that I get to do this as a job.” 

Naturally, she’s also very excited by the bucket list things, too, like getting onto Live at the Apollo, A League of Their Own, The Last Leg, or Mock the Week. But for Maisie, the real excitement is this debut tour. “I have to say this tour has felt like a real wow moment, particularly after Covid,” she says. “I’ve spent most of my career so far doing shows when I’m on a line-up with other people, but on a tour, that’s people who have spent money to come and see just you, which feels really special and I feel a real connection with the people in the room. They’re here to see me, and I’m super appreciative of them, too. My tour show has half an hour, and then a break and then the main show. In the opening half an hour, I chat to the crowd and we get to know each other, and it’s been really nice. There have been so many shows where me and the audience are absolutely crying with laughter at each other – I find them as funny as they find me!”

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It’s been really special for Maisie to return home for this tour, and she’s looking forward to more dates in Pocklington, Halifax, and Leeds. “On the first leg of the tour, we had Leeds City Varieties, which is where I filmed it, which felt really special as it’s where my granny and grandpa used to take me and my brothers to the panto every year,” she smiles. “You never think that one day you’ll be there filming your own tour show at a sold out date! We did the Harrogate Theatre, too, which is where I went to Youth Theatre and that sold out. It’s been amazing.”

Speaking of returning to Yorkshire, as Maisie now lives in Brighton with her fiance, I wonder what she loves the most about coming home. “It’s such a cliche, but I love the friendliness of Yorkshire,” she smiles. “We have got to mention the prices, too! I love to do the walking, too. I’m always going up into the Dales, the Moors, Swinsty Reservoir of the Bolton Abbey walk that we do every Boxing Day. It only takes a 15-minute drive or walk and you feel like you’re in a flipping Bronte novel! I really miss these lovely walks so I take the time to get out and do them when I’m home. When I did the last leg of the Yorkshire tour, I said to my manager, please don’t book me a hotel, I’ll just stay at my Grans! We just went on walks with some mates from home, went to mine and my Gran’s favourite pub, The Devonshire Arms, and escaped for a bit. It’s my place to recharge and connect back to where I’m from.”


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